Encyclopedia Astronautica
Soyuz 7K-OK Tether

Russian manned spacecraft. Study 1965. Korolev was always interested in application of artificial gravity for large space stations and interplanetary craft. He sought to test this in orbit from the early days of the Vostok program.

Two Soyuz versions were considered:

  • Soyuz 7K-OK, tethered to Block I

  • Two Soyuz 7K-OK, which would rendezvous and dock in orbit and then undock, pulling the tether out between them.

Separation of the two components with a rotation of 0.5 degrees/second would produce 0.03 G of artificial gravity. The components would then close to 300 m, reaching 7 degrees/second and 1/6 G. The Voskhod would need additional liquid fuel rocket thrusters fitted to put the components into rotation. The Soyuz would need no special equipment. The two Soyuz scheme was attractive because nose-to nose tethering meant that the BO living module would have the correct vertical orientation for sustained experiments. However he Soyuz would be limited to a maximum of three days of experiments because the batteries would run down since the solar cells could not be kept oriented to the sun during the experiment. After Korolev's death, the project was closed by Mishin on 28 March 1966 and not pursued further.

Gross mass: 6,400 kg (14,100 lb).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • KTDU-35 Isayev Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 4.09 kN. Out of Production. Isp=280s. Soyuz, Salyut 4 maneuvering engine. KTDU-53 version in L-1 circumlunar spacecraft; KTDU-66 in Salyut 1 space station. Thrusts 4.09 kN main + 4.03 kN secondary. First flight 1966. More...

See also
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

  • Vetrov, G S, S. P. Korolev i evo delo, Nauka, Moscow, 1998.

Soyuz 7K-OK Tether Chronology

1966 March 28 - .
  • Korolev tether projects cancelled - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Mishin. Flight: Voskhod 3; Voskhod 4. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK Tether; Voskhod. Korolev was always interested in application of artificial gravity for large space stations and interplanetary craft. After Korolevís death, the projects to develop tether experiments to be flown aboard Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft were closed by Mishin and not pursued further.

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